Thursday, January 27, 2011

Get Well Soup

Today we have 5 out of 6 in our home fighting some form of sickies.
This is my go to soup to help fight off colds & respiratory crud.
Saute 5 minced garlic cloves & 1 large onion in 3 Tbls. olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.
(Yes, 5 large cloves of garlic. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. My husband actually swallows whole cloves when he is sick.)
Dump in 2 1/2 32 oz cartons of chicken broth.
Next, add 1 cup chopped celery, 4 cups cubed potatoes, 2 cups diced carrots, & 2-3 cups chopped or shredded chicken.
(I used a whole rotisserie chicken from Costco)
Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Next add 1 package cheese tortellini.

Return to a boil & simmer for 11 minutes.

Now add 3 large hand fulls of baby spinach.
Simmer for about 2 minutes to let the spinach wilt.

Season generously with salt & pepper to taste.
If you have any fresh parsley you can chop some up and add that too.
(I didn't have any)

We all had this for dinner tonight!
Here's to feeling better!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WIWW: Better Late Than Never

These are backwards.
But I am will forgive me.....right??
I cleaned out my closet.
So one would think I would have done better this week.
Alas, I am sick, feel terrible, have no motivation to get dressed.
I didn't iron at all.
Does anyone else have this nasty cough that is going around??
I am soooo over the kids being sick & sharing their germies with me.
Poor kids......poor me.
Dragging myself to work day!
Jeans & Ruffled Cardi - Target
Grey Ruffled Shirt - Old Navy Online Tall
Necklaces - Lisa
Work & Costco
Jeans & Black Tee - Old Navy
Grey Sweater - Boutique in San Fran
Black Boots - Chinese Laundry/Gottschalks
Necklaces - Lisa
Jeans - Target
Grey Tee - Apothecary Designs
Crop Sweater - Old Navy
Obviously my favorite black boots!
Necklaces - Lisa
Cute Hair Flower - Sunny
This day just makes me laugh! HA!
I was obviously not having it.
Sweater, T, Jeans - Old Navy
Shoes - Keen (my feet were made for Keen's & vice versa)
Grey Ruffled Scarf - Claire's
This is my fave this week!
Work Day
Black Dress - Gottschalks
Leggings & Long Sleeved T - Old Navy
Boots - Keen (I have mentioned that I LOVE Keens?)
Super Cute Scarf - Julie Vogue
I am linking up to the Pleated Poppy!
Have a Great Week Everybody!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Some Really GOOD Muffins

I got a wild hair today and decided to play around with a muffin recipe I have been working on.
I really needed it to be a bit healthy (Pioneer woman is killing me) & I wanted to make a large batch (so I could freeze a bunch). Here it is. I don't know what to call them so if you have any suggestions.......
I used my Kitchen Aid mixer but a regular hand mixer should work too.
I beat 6 eggs, 1 1/3 cup oil & 1 tsp. vanilla.
I added 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots & 1 can crushed undrained pineapple.
Then I threw in 4 tsps. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 2 cups brown sugar, 4 tsps. cinnamon, 2 1/4 cups white flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour & 6 Tbls. wheat germ.
(If you are using a hand mixer you might want to blend your dry ingredients in a separate bowl first and then add to the wet ingredients)
Last but not least, stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts & 1 cup golden raisins.
Bake at 375 for 18 minutes.
Made 32 muffins.
I had one for dessert tonight. They were SOOO good!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oh Baby

I found this little treasure in a bag of hand-me-down notions from my Grandma.
Look at the price!
I didn't want to open it, but alas, I did.
I really really needed that color. (See below)
We currently have a baby boom going on in our circle!
So it gives me the oppurtunity to try my hand at all kinds of baby related projects.
I really am having so much fun!
I am attempting some tutorials, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some Fun Freebies

Here are some really fun blogs with some super fun Valentine's freebies!

Ok, so the first one isn't Valentine's related. It has to do with my current organizing projects.

Free printable bookplates @ Our Humble A{bowe}d
I am working on my bookshelves & since I love sharing my books, these will do nicely!
Some cute Love Coupons @ Inspiring Creations!
I LOVE these fun printables @ So Not Donna Reed! I already printed mine.
Fun little baggie toppers @ The Hands-On House.
This is an entire Valentine's Classroom party pack printable @ It's always a party at the Parker's. A-mazing!!!!!
Another fun set of printables @ Catch My Party.
This is my absolute fave, but if you are a close personal friend of mine, or one of my pay it forward ladies guess what I am making you??? Check it out @ 30 Days

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ever Have a Bad Clothes Week?

Definitely not my best week.
Still tryin tho. That counts for something right?
Work Day!
I had about 15 minutes to get dressed, do makeup & hair.
I was really just looking for things that didn't have to be ironed.
Sage Tunic - Gift from local boutique
Skinny Jeans & Taupe Sweater - Old Navy
Brown Boots - REI/Keen
Family Tree Necklace from Lisa
Late for a baby shower.
The reason for the mess I made of our bedroom.
I really do NOT like the bottom half of this outfit.
Skirt, Tights, Boots, & Cardi - Target
Ivory Tank & Pearl Necklaces - Gift
Work Day
Ivory Tunic & Cargo Skinny Pants - Old Navy
Sweater - Tilly's
Brown Boots - REI
Necklaces - Lisa
Close up shot of my vintage spoon necklace from the Junk Girls & From up here necklace from Lisa Leonard.

Work Day
Black Ruffled Tunic, Aqua Cardi, Skinny Jeans - Target
Black Boots - Gottschalks

This is probably my favorite day.
Grey Wool Sweater Dress - TJ Maxx
Black Long Sleeve T - Old Navy
Skinny Jeans - Target
Black Boots - Gottschalks
Aqua Scarf - local boutique Julia Vogue

A special note for us tall girls.
Old Navy online has lots of shirts in TALL sizes.
I am 5'8". Not super tall but I hate when I wear jeans, bend over and feel like my whole back is hanging out. The Old Navy tall shirts are soooo much longer than their regular sizes. I have to buy one size smaller than I normally wear but they are perfect. I LOVE them!

I am linking up to the Pleated Poppy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Last Weekend

We sat outside on our deck and watched the fog roll by.
It was the strangest site.
Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bedroom Update

Did a little redecorating in our bedroom today & some serious closet, drawer, cabinet cleaning!
Felt Great!
My goal is to deep clean & finish up any projects, one room, every weekend, until my whole house is done.
This dresser was a hand me down from my Uncle.
I just sanded it down, gave it a couple coats of paint, & some new hardware.
I love it!

The lupine photo was taken by my husband's friend Sye on one of their "manly" backpacking trips. Lupine are my favorite flower. I ordered it on canvas from Costco online.

Matt installed these really cool ledges that I got on clearance from Pottery Barn.

I am really happy with how this turned out. The pictures are from backpacking trips.

2 were taken by a friend, Greg and 1 was taken by Me!

Again, they are canvas from Costco online.

The really cool birch candles were on clearance at Target. They were considered "holiday".

All the pine cones we found around our house.

The little potted tree was another clearance item from Pottery Barn.

We both LOVE the outdoors & the mountains.

It was like bringing the outside in.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Avers Healthy Banana Cupcakes

We made these healthy delicious cupcakes for Avers class on her birthday!
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Cream together shortening & sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, bananas & buttermilk. In a separate bowl mix flours, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Add to banana mixture. Spoon into lined muffin tins.
Makes 18 cupcakes.
Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes.
I frosted them with a cream cheese frosting and they were so yummy!!!!!!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snickerdoodle Obsession

I have had a thing for Snickerdoodles this winter!
Snickerdoodle soap, lotion, cookies, candles you name it.
So when I came across a Snickerdoodle Coffee Mix I just HAD to try it!

Of course, I can't find my orginal picture of my cute little jar filled with the mix.....the jar is empty now. It was REALLY good.

So here's the recipe and a picture of my living room all back to normal after all the Christmas decor was put away.

Snickerdoodle Coffee Mix

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered milk

1/2 cup vanilla-flavored powdered non-dairy creamer

1/2 cup baking cocoa

3 Tbls. instant coffee granules

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients. Makes about 3 cups mix. Add 3 heaping Tbls. mix to a cup of boiling water.

The reason for this picture.

1 - I couldn't find my coffee pic.

2 - I am working on some redecorating projects and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for those funky little shelves waaaay up high on my living room wall.

I may just break down and remove them.

They were here when we moved in.

I have a sense of don't hold back! :o)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Ok, let's try this again.
Not because I like taking pictures of myself.
NO THANK YOU! I am terrible at it.
In my attempt to be more organized this year I am also trying to catalog outfits so it makes it easier for me to get dressed in the am.

Will see if this works.
I emphasize the word TRY.

An attempt at a pic.

Hmmm....not going so well.

Work Day!
Long sleeve T, cream tunic & black cropped sweater - Old Navy
Skinny jeans - Target
Black suede boots - Gottschalks
Vintage Spoon Necklace - Junk Girls

Work Day!
Indian Tunic - gift
Long sleeve T - Old Navy
Cardi - Target
Brown Shoes - Target

Just another work day!
Black Turtleneck - White House, Black Market
Sweater - Tilly's
Jeans - Old Navy
Black Boots - Gottschalks

Work Day & Student of the Month assembly! (Go Avers!!!)
Latte colored long sleeve T - Old Navy
Ivory Ruffled Tank & pin - Present from Australia (Aunt Mary Jane)
Cardi - Target
Skinny Jeans - Old Navy
Brown Boots - Keen/REI
Necklace - Lisa Leonard

This is a really really awkward learning experience.
I really don't like taking the pics.
I am going to get over it....for the sake of my new years goals! :o)

I am linking up with the Pleated Poppy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crisis Averted

Our house.
Sunday Morning.
Pancakes on the griddle.
Cocoa-Latte machine ready.
But hot cocoa mix???
5 kids on the floor, screaming, crying, limbs flailing.
Let's pause for a moment and picture this........
Jake is 6'3", Bay is 5'9" & Matt 5'11".
Got a visual?
Yes, Matt is 1 of the 5.
Ok let's move on.

What's a mother to do?
TA-DA....Google to the rescue!!!!

A Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe courtesy of Family Fun Online!!!
Woo Hoo I am saved!

2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer (we used french vanilla)
1/8 tsp. salt

Whisk all ingredients until blended.
Makes about 4 cups mix.
Add 3 heaping Tbls. mix to a cup of boiling water.

We may never go back to the other stuff.
I always have powdered milk on hand.
(It's a backpaker thing.)
I had the creamer left over from another hot drink recipe that I will share with you tomorrow.

Crisis Averted.
All is well again at Ridgetop Farm.
This might make a nice Valentine's gift for the chocolate lover in your life!


Were you all wondering??
What happened to her?
Where did she go?
Well, here it a very large nutshell.
Where I was, where I went, what happened to me.
I did LOTS of this.
Shows, shows, soap, soap & soap.
I had LOTS of this.
I even went sledding down the driveway in my truck.
Not fun.
This beautiful amazing wonderful girl turned 17! (tears)

Some of our family ventured up to our place to celebrate.
Her sweet friend Emily made her that amazing red velvet cake. (So sweet)

My sweet lil Avers turned 7!
I made these yummy "healthy" cupcakes for her class.
(Recipe to follow)

We celebrated at Red Robin's with Macy Lou!

Yep.....more of this.
I told you I did a LOT of this.

Winter Solstice celebration at the Mullins-Hoekstra Farm.
I love this tradition.

Sunny's Apple Pie in a jar!
So cute and yum-o!

A fun holiday party, with some very dear friends
& this surprise gift from Lisa.
I LOVE IT!!!!! LOVE!!!!!!

Break out your dishtowels & napkins.
It's time for the Christmas Eve pajama party rendition of
"If I Were A Rich Man".
Our family is just a little obsessed with musicals.
This is a holiday family tradition.
I have been doing this since I was very small.

Uncle Dan's choreographed performance of the Chipmunk's Christmas song, minus his usual backup dancers
(Averie & Morgan).

Matching pajama family Christmas!
It's also Matt's 38th birthday!
Wow he's old.
Cabin Christmas
Table, decor & cabin courtesy of my famous Aunt Mary Jane!
I love her.
Ladybug colonies courtesy of mother nature.

Beautiful walk, beautiful surroundings.
I was really missing my Uncle Chris, Uncle Mel & my Grandma Fancy.
We have had a rough couple of years on my Mom's side of the family and I really needed some time away.......we have the most wonderful memories of cabin Christmas.
I wanted to feel close to those memories.
I needed to.
My favorite memory is the year we all stayed up really late......possibly a little tipsy (Matt & Courtney), and my Grandma was laughing so hard she almost fell out of her chair.
Averie was little and we were playing Catch Phrase. She wanted a turn so bad, so we let her try. She was making up her own words.....wagging her little finger at us with the most intense serious look on her face. She would get so upset when we had no idea what she was talking about.
It really was funny.
That's what I love about my family.
We are all soooo incredibly goofy, we laugh so hard when we are together.
I needed that.
It was a wonderful, crazy, hectic, fun, chaotic, exciting, melancholy month.
I left a lot out of this post.
Imagine more craft shows, neighborhood holiday parties, out of town trips, school stuff, work stuff, etc, etc etc.
I loved every minute of it and am so thankful for the wonderful family, friends & opportunities we have in our lives.
I am also thankful that it's over.
I am tired.
I am fried.
So please.....bare with me.
I will get back to my blogging.
I have lots of ideas to share.
Lots of Love & So looking forward to sharing this new year with you!